Additive manufacturing of carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic composites using fused deposition modeling

Fuda Ning, Weilong Cong, Jingjing Qiu, Junhua Wei, Shiren Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1174 Scopus citations


Additive manufacturing (AM) technologies have been successfully applied in various applications. Fused deposition modeling (FDM), one of the most popular AM techniques, is the most widely used method for fabricating thermoplastic parts those are mainly used as rapid prototypes for functional testing with advantages of low cost, minimal wastage, and ease of material change. Due to the intrinsically limited mechanical properties of pure thermoplastic materials, there is a critical need to improve mechanical properties for FDM-fabricated pure thermoplastic parts. One of the possible methods is adding reinforced materials (such as carbon fibers) into plastic materials to form thermoplastic matrix carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) composites those could be directly used in the actual application areas, such as aerospace, automotive, and wind energy. This paper is going to present FDM of thermoplastic matrix CFRP composites and test if adding carbon fiber (different content and length) can improve the mechanical properties of FDM-fabricated parts. The CFRP feedstock filaments were fabricated from plastic pellets and carbon fiber powders for FDM process. After FDM fabrication, effects on the tensile properties (including tensile strength, Young's modulus, toughness, yield strength, and ductility) and flexural properties (including flexural stress, flexural modulus, flexural toughness, and flexural yield strength) of specimens were experimentally investigated. In order to explore the parts fracture reasons during tensile and flexural tests, fracture interface of CFRP composite specimens after tensile testing and flexural testing was observed and analyzed using SEM micrograph.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-378
Number of pages10
JournalComposites Part B: Engineering
StatePublished - Oct 2015


  • A. Carbon fibre
  • A. Polymer-matrix composites (PMCs)
  • B. Mechanical properties
  • D. Mechanical testing
  • E. Extrusion


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